Hope Starts With Us: Pressure, Professional Football and Pivoting

JAN. 24, 2024

Hope Starts With Us: Episode 38

As we gear up for the superbowl, NAMI CEO Daniel H. Gillison Jr. speaks with former NFL players Rob Robertson and Devin Funchess about their personal journeys with mental health, the pressures of professional sports and life after football.

You can find additional episodes of this NAMI podcast and others at nami.org/podcast.


We hope this podcast encourages you, inspires you, helps you and brings you further into the collective to know: you are not alone.  

Episodes will air every other Wednesday and will be available on most major directories and apps.
 

 

Episode Audio:

 

 


Featured Guest:

Rob Robertson

Rob Robertson

LinkedIn: rob-robertson Twitter/X: @robertsonrobjr Instagram: @robertsonrobjr

Rob Robertson has over 20 years’ experience as a senior executive sales and operations leader. Rob has a deep reservoir of experience in the financial services industry that includes increasing compliance gaps by 50% and rebuilding P&L’s from a loss to a substantial gain year over year. He has grown anemic and expansion markets from ground zero to established, well-built ecosystems at GMFS, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, and PNC.

A purpose-driven P&L leader, Rob is highly skilled at restructuring organizations and expanding foundations for scale. Known as an effective culture-centric builder, dynamic change agent and servant leader, he is also an innovator and influencer who establishes an identity of culture within organizations by attracting and sourcing diverse and competitive talent. He has a unique ability to integrate teams across functions and drive value with a keen focus on accountability and KPM’s and has established credibility in transforming difficult opportunities into successful outcomes.

Building on his time as a former NFL athlete who played for the Baltimore Ravens, Rob is passionate about building and coaching successful teams by building a foundation and a "culture of caring." His leadership skills and ability to develop a winning culture has played a key role to his success serving in many different geographies during his leadership journey. Rob is a big proponent of collaborating with internal partners and driving strategies that will encourage a great customer experience internally so the team can drive a great customer experience externally while helping customers succeed financially.

Rob recently served as the Greater East Regional Executive at PNC. He is a change agent in the East Region consisting of the states aligned to the Northeast, Southeast and Mid-Atlantic in addition to the Affordable Lending and Corporate Relo markets. Prior to joining PNC, Rob served as Executive Director at JP Morgan Chase where he led the expansion market serving the Mid-Atlantic Region in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, and Philadelphia. Rob also held various senior leader roles at Wells Fargo culminating as the Regional Manager of Region 12, leading a dynamic sales team that encompassed the District of Columbia, Maryland, Northern Virginia, and Delaware.

Rob has resided in multiple geographies including Southwest Florida where he served as Area Sales Manager. Under Rob’s leadership, his Florida Area achieved outstanding results in a 2-year span changing the culture and providing "Servant Leadership" which served well inside and outside the organization.

Prior to Rob's transition to Florida, he lived in Atlanta where he successfully led a high performing sales team as a Branch Sales Manager. His branch ranked in the top 20 nationwide and was recognized as a Presidents Club Branch. In 2012, Rob qualified as a Leader’s Club Member and in 2014 qualified for President's Club. Before joining Wells Fargo, Rob spent 10 years as the Vice President for GMFS Lending in Atlanta, GA and Baton Rouge, LA. An interesting fact to know about Rob is that prior to his financial career, he played professional football in the NFL for the Baltimore Ravens as a fullback. Rob’s leadership mantra stems from the acronym C.P.R. (Culture, People, Relationship). Rob believes if you follow this leadership mantra you will breathe life in the community inside and outside the enterprise.

Rob currently resides in Washington, DC with his wife of 21 years, Nneka, their children, Bryson and Boston Olivia, and their adorable four-legged family member, Robertson.

Devin Funchess

Devin Funchess

Instagram: @unclefunch

A three-year player at the University of Michigan, Funchess was the 41st overall pick by the Carolina Panthers in the 2015 NFL draft. He spent four seasons with the Panthers and one season with the Indianapolis Colts. Since the 2020 season, Funchess has had stints with the Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions. Funchess caught 164 passes for 2,265 yards and 21 touchdowns in 62 career NFL games.

After five seasons in the NFL playing for two different franchises, David announced last year that he would like to make a career change to playing in the NBA.

Devin currently serves as an ambassador for NAMI National and is a passionate advocate for mental health.


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About the Host:

Dan Gillison

Daniel H. Gillison, Jr.

Follow on Twitter: @DanGillison

Daniel H. Gillison, Jr. is the chief executive officer of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Prior to his work at NAMI, he served as executive director of the American Psychiatric Association Foundation (APAF) in addition to several other leadership roles at various large corporations such as Xerox, Nextel, and Sprint. He is passionate about making inclusive, culturally competent mental health resources available to all people, spending time with his family, and of course playing tennis.

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